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The Other

from The Reeducation of a Turd Peddler
by John Henry Peabody

I WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND the Fornay. Just when I think we’re getting a long, they’re setting me up, taking my hat, shorting me on stamps at the post office and generally just playing the trickster.
  It isn’t bad stuff. They aren’t thieves ripping me off—I end up “running into” someone from the post office later that day who gives me the rest of my stamps, with a requisite chuckle. They like that trickster shit. They like to get a laugh.
  The more I think of it, I remember the Librado boys doing the same when I lived with them. Never cruel, seemingly brotherly, they just always had to have the rhetorical upper hand, like some neighborhood type who culturally cannot communicate in a straight forward manner. If an exchange didn’t have a linguistic decoy worked into the conversation, then they just weren’t living. Every bit of information had a kind of end-around built into it.
  After years of this, I realized the Fornay needed to let me know they were different, not just from me, but from everyone who wasn’t them.
  No matter how much of their dusty old dust I handled, nor how many Lucky Charms breakfasts I had with them, I would always be Tom Haden to their Corleones, seemingly a part but never truly in the family. They were the Other. And I was the Other to them. One could only imagine what the other was like.

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